Big Decision Time

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2012
Big Decision Time
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 5:44pm

First off, thank you in advance for your honest feedback and advice.

I have been married for 4 years to my first love. The last three years of our relationship have been the most challenging. Before marriage we lived with our parents.  We bought a house then got married two months later so it all happened fast. At first, I was very happy but as time passed, my husband's attitude changed a lot.  As my career soared, his stayed the same.  I lost both of my parents.   The grieving process was hard and still is. He is not a very compassionate person but he has not suffered any close loss before which I try to just accept. These are the two biggest issues I have with our marriage and for some, definite deal breakers but given our history and that I took vows forever, I have stood by him regardless.

Two years ago, we made a new mutual friend.  The moment I met him, I was attracted to him and the feelings between us were mutual. He began flirting with me when my husband was not paying attention.  I enjoyed it for awhile but then developed serious feelings for him. I distanced myself thinking that is was just a crush that would go away. They did not and things only got worse with my husband.  Soon after, I approached him and we talked about our feelings.  We talked about what we want out of life. We were on the same page but I was not willing to break my vows and leave. He is friends with my husband and felt the same way.  We decided that if one day we are meant to be, we will be.  We left it there and again, I avoided him for a couple months.  It has been a year.  He has been in and out of two relationships.  I see him now and then.  Everytime I am around him, my heart skips a beat and I fantasize about being with him both intimately and long-term. I had a dream a couple months back that I was at my baby shower and he was the father.It feels like he is the one who I am supposed to be with. Like one of those things you just know. 

So the question is do I stay with my husband and relationship over a decade or leave my husband on a leap of faith based on my feellings that it could work out with the other guy? I would never break my vows and cheat so that is not an option. I am afraid to be alone and I am afraid to lose the only immediate family I have.  I am very close with my husband's mother, siblings, nieces and nephews. It feels like there is so much at stake for a leap of faith.  I also afraid that if I leave my husband I could end up alone because it won't work out with the other guy. It is complicated and we have many mutual friends. Then I worry if I miss out on having kids which I have been thinking a lot about. I am ready to be a mother.

So, I have a big decision to make. Has anyone been here before? Any advice you can offer is so appeciated. Thank you for listening.




iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 9:19pm

You don't really say why you are dissatisfied w/ your DH except that he was not that compassionate toward you when your parents died.  (By the way, that must be really hard at your age.)  I think you just can't decide to get divorced based on the hope that you are going to be together with the friend.  You should decide whether to get divorced based on whether you would rather be alone than be married because that very well might happen.  I was so miserable in my 2nd marriage that I knew I would prefer to be single forever rather than be w/ my exH (the reasons for the divorce aren't relevant to you, but he has a mental illness).  You never know what might happen.  There are guys who think they might want a married woman, but then when she is actually free, they change their minds because maybe the reality of the siutation hits them or for other reasons.  So forget about him.  Think about whether there is any way possible to work on your marriage. If you have tried everything & are still unhappy w/ your DH, then get divorced--but not until then.  You can't be "afraid to be alone."  Many people are alone and they still have happy lives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 1:25am

I agree with Musiclover about everything.  You're unhappy with your husband because he wasn't compassionate enough when your parents passed away.  Everyone grieves differently.......and many people don't know WHAT to say to comfort another person in their loss.  So while you're grieving and vulnerable, this so called "friend" started flirting with you behind your husband's back.......nice!  Great guy!  Something very telling is your statement that you're afraid to leave your husband in case it doesn't work out with Mr.Nice Guy, and then you'd be alone.  What is so wrong with being alone?  Usually after a divorce it's GOOD to be alone for a while, and it's NOT good to divorce one and jump immediately into another relationship. 

Bottom line, you have no real grievance with your husband........but because you get butterflies around him......honey, that's not love, that's SEX. Instead of talking to this guy about what you want in life, and that you're on the "same page".......why not start talking to your husband about what you want, and what page you're on.  Again, as musiclover says, there are men out there that lose interest once the woman is actually available.......they enjoy messing with unavailable women.......who can't make demands! 

Work on your marriage, and if it can't be fixed, then you end it..........and not because of someone that you think you have feelings for.  And if you end up be it.  Alone can be good too!   It has advantages!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2012
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 12:49pm

I have two big issues with my husband. The first is that he resents my success. I do not make significantly more than he does but I do make more and I am up for a promotion. I have far greater room for advancement. He has not had a raise for five years. My career is white collar, his is blue collar. I am happy I can pay for the little extras such as a weekend getaway or nice dinner because he supported me through college. I was a broke student and he worked full-time. In some ways, I feel like I owe him. He swears that he does not care but acts weird when I pay or when he needs me to take the lead on a bill. His words don't match his actions. I worry how he will react when I make a lot more than him and whether he will handle it. It could definitely ruin us.

Your feedback made me realize that I am still angry with my husband for not being compassionate or supportive as I needed when my parents were sick. My mother was in hospice for months and it was pulling teeth to get him to go with me to visit. I was there alone most of time. When she passed, my two best girlfriends helped me handle funeral arrangements. He is masculine and not open at all about his feelings which is why he couldn't be there. He never remembers the anniversaries of them passing and whenever I am upset, he tells me to get over it. I have told him how I feel but he does not change. This is causing a strain in our marriage but I pull the carpet over it because his family is all I have now. I worry long-term how this would make me feel with children.

On a positive note, he is great with his nieces and nephews as far as playing with them and being the fun Uncle. It makes me feel like he would be the same type of dad. He usually gets home before I do so he makes dinner and is a phenomenal chef. We manage household duties 50/50. We enjoy the same tv shows together. We have fun with mutual friends. I love his family. Intimacy is okay, good sometimes. I can trust him. We have a beautiful love story on the surface and I feel a sense of pride that we are still together after all of these years.

The other guy embodies what is missing. He is an extrinsic personality, the life of the party, more outgoing like I am. He is a few years older, white collar and successful. Based off our interactions, he is open about his feelings. There is sexual attraction but it is much more than that.  I know that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and I know that I have to make my decision based off whether or not I want to be with my husband, not the prospect of being with someone else. I have to be okay with being alone but I am afraid. I am afraid that I will make the wrong decision and never find someone to share my life with whether it is this other guy or someone else. I am afraid I will miss my husband because he is my first of everything.  I am afraid that I will not have a family and that his family will hate me. I am afraid of waking up on Christmas morning with no parents and no husband. I am afraid that I will miss out on having kids which is very important to me.  I am terrified!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 9:12pm

I would really suggest counseling to explore these issues.  It's not good to make a decision out of fear.  As far as the success part of it, do you keep all your money separately?  If you had a joint account for most of your money, then it wouldn't seem to your DH that you were paying for  something because everything would be money that belongs to both of you.  Is he happy with his job or does he want to do something else?  I am a lawyer & my exH worked for the Post Office--it's a pretty good paying job for someone without a college education.  What annoyed me is that he would complain all the time about his job yet he would never be motivated to do anything to change it.  He'd rather spend his free time playing baseball than go back to college or get more training--I didn't care that he worked at the P.O. but you know, don't complain and then do nothing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2007
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 7:35pm

Hey Liverconquersall222

 I agree with you that it’s “big decision time” – but not the type of decision you’re focused on at the moment.  As Musiclover12 mentioned, it is not good to make a decision out of fear. You are afraid of being alone; you are grieving and feeling more alone than you have ever before. 

 You need to deal with the grief and your fears of being alone.  The decision isn’t whether to leave your husband now.  The decision should be to deal with your fear of being alone.  You need to become comfortable with yourself—and love yourself.  Once you become comfortable with yourself, the fear of being alone will go away.

 None of us on this message board can give you the continual guidance and support you need on this journey of yours.  As Musiclover12 suggests, counseling would help you work through the grieving process and help you work through the fear of being alone. 

 It’s only from that place of security—that security of self—can you go further with working on your relationship with your husband… which includes dealing with your anger toward him.

 Also, you mentioned that you have good friends to support you during your time of need.  Develop a strong support network around you, so you can turn to a number of people to fill your needs.  One person—even a spouse—cannot possibly fulfill every need of another person. 

Each person has his/her own needs, moods, fears, and insecurities that he/she is dealing with—and sometimes our loved ones are not capable to give us what we need at the time we need it because they are battling their own fears and insecurities.  That’s why it’s important to create a strong core within ourselves and develop a strong support network team to fill in the gaps… 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2012
Fri, 10-18-2013 - 11:27am

Wow you have all have made me realize so much that I didn't.  Thank you.

I have taken a step back and thought a lot since my first post on Tuesday.  It is not grievance over my husband. It is my coping mechanism.  The reality is I put up a very optimstic, positive front so that those close to me do not worry but deep down, I struggle.  I talked to my husband which was an argument at first but then ended well.  I realized more that I have the biggest issue with our career/salary differences. I don't know if I want a joint account. I do like my financial independence but it is something I am considering.  I am trying very hard now to open my eyes to the things that I perceive versus how my husband really feels about things.  I have a feeling that a lot of what I think is missing that the other guy embodies is there within my husband if let down my defenses and perception. I have been very apprehensive about counseling but I am making a few calls today to get started.

My hope is that counseling will help me figure it all out. Thanks again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 10-18-2013 - 12:16pm

Good for you!  So many people are afraid to confront their "demons", and you're taking the first step to actually do that.  It seems like you didn't really know your husband very well before you met him......and being in your 30's, and thinking about your "fears" I think you might have ignored some of the things about him that you DON'T like.......out of fear of missing what might be your "last chance".  The fact that he doesn't remember the "anniversary" of your parent's passing is SO not important in the general plans of life.  He might not remember many dates that are important to you, but not to him.  You have to take into consideration how he was raised........many families don't make a big deal out of dates, or even birthdays and anniversaries.  It's hard for a grown person to change what they learned as a child!  The problem that you mentioned about you making more money that he again, YOUR fear, not his.  If you don't want a joint account, why not have 3 private account for each of you, and one joint account, just to cover household expenses, food, utilities, mortgage, insurances, etc.  It could be half and half since you make only a little more than he does, and the excess can go into your private account.  The "problems" that you perceive in your marrigage aren't really problems, they're your own fears, and hopefully counseling will help you with that.  There are a LOT of women who would give anything for a little help with the housework or cooking.  Not a whole lot of men will help with stuff like that.  I hope you make yourself scarce around the "other" man.......and work on your marriage and yourself.  In time, if the marriage doesn't work out......then you can deal with that without the influence of an outsider.........that doesn't belong in your life right now, or then.  You end a marriage based on the failure of the marriage, not on a cheesy attraction to another man which is NOT real!  Give yourself over to the therapist and work things out for yourself.  If you don't think he/she is helping, then find a different one.  Therapy is like marriage........every one is different, and you have to have a good fit for it to work.  Fear is a lot of wasted time and energy.  99% of the time the things you fear NEVER happen......but if they do, you deal with them THEN, not in advance.  Good Luck to you!

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sat, 10-19-2013 - 3:14pm

 I like the others suggest counseling and to reevaluate your life and it's goals.  If he is not supportive that is a very big red flag.  Since it appears that you do not have children I strongly suggest NOT getting pregnant.  The laws will be against you if your career takes off and you have a child( the current theme is visitation joit custody so the custodial parent must stay within easy travel distance)    I suggest you see a very good divorce lawyer to know what you would be facing in your state.  You must know what your options are. 

    This other man reads like a projection.  Your mind is giving emotional weight to what is a fantasy.  If you h cannot be enthustic support then leaving is the better option.  He has to understand that this is how it is and he may be a house husband.  if that is not  possible there is no hope. 



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sun, 10-20-2013 - 10:07am
Since your husband worked full time and supported you when you were in college, he may feel that he has missed his chance at a bright future. You are both young, and it's not too late for him to retrain or continue his education, even on a part time basis.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 10-21-2013 - 6:40am

Re: your feelings of lust, attraction, desire, 'would he be better' etc etc for the other bloke, this won't be the last time in your life. Not terribly helpful, this next thing I'm going to say.. imho, marrying your first bf is really not a wise thing to do. Say someone's never eaten anything but egg and chips in the can they say they won't like lobster... that kind of thing. There is no way that you can determine if your husband's best for you because you have no point of reference and no experience. Hope you'll turn out to be one of those lucky 'first of everything for life' women who will spend the rest of their lives wondering what all the love related anguish they refer to in songs, books, movies etc etc is all about.

 Parents die...we keep living. Such is life. Very sorry for your loss.